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Coca-Cola Formula Discovered?

Producers of the radio show This American Life are claiming they’ve discovered the safely-guarded recipe for Coca-Cola in an interesting way: A direct picture of the recipe in a 1979 newspaper article within Coca-Cola’s hometown newspaper, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. According to the radio producers, the picture used for the article is a hand-written copy of the original recipe for the beverage, supposedly written in a leather-bound recipe book by one of creator John Pemberton’s friends, and passed down for generations.

The recipe consists of a base formula, and the famously secret “7X flavor.” From Time’s article:


  • Fluid extract of Coca: 3 drams USP
  • Citric acid: 3 oz
  • Caffeine: 1 oz
  • Sugar: 30 (though it is pointed out that it is 30 of an unclear quantity)
  • Water: 2.5 gal
  • Lime juice: 2 pints, 1 quart
  • Vanilla: 1 oz
  • Caramel: 1.5 oz (or more for color)

7X Flavor:

  • Alcohol: 8 oz
  • Orange oil: 20 drops
  • Lemon oil: 30 drops
  • Nutmeg oil: 10 drops
  • Coriander: 5 drops
  • Neroli: 10 drops
  • Cinnamon: 10 drops

After making a brew with the above formula, the This American Life team held a taste test, with experts (though their qualifications weren’t mentioned) and regular people as participants. Supposedly, the brew was so close to Coca-Cola that some people couldn’t differentiate between the two, though the overall verdict is that the recipe is fairly similar to Coca-Cola, but not quite there.

(Time via Hacker News)

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